Donald Trump would not defend defaulting NATO members against Russia

At a campaign event, Donald Trump reveals his willingness to give up defending NATO partners who don’t pay. He would “even encourage Russia to do whatever they want.” The White House responded immediately.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would not grant protection from Russia to NATO partners who do not meet their financial obligations. The former US president said this at a campaign event in the US state of South Carolina.

The “president of a great country” once asked him whether the United States would still protect this country from Russia even if it did not pay for defense spending, Trump said. He replied: “No, I wouldn’t protect you.” What’s more, he would “even encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want.” It was unclear whether such a conversation had ever taken place between Trump and a head of state, as the Republican also said: “Let’s assume that happened.”

US President Joe Biden’s White House reacted immediately. “Encouraging attacks by a murderous regime on our closest allies is outrageous and completely insane,” spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “It endangers America’s national security, global stability and our domestic economy.”

Stoltenberg: No threat to NATO from the outcome of the US election

During a recent visit to Washington, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg countered fears that the outcome of the US presidential election could endanger the future of NATO. Stoltenberg told the US broadcaster CNN at the end of January that he had worked with Trump for four years and listened to him carefully. Trump’s main criticism, that the allies are spending too little on NATO, has been received. They have significantly increased their defense spending in recent years. Trump, who ruled in the White House from 2017 to 2021, had repeatedly threatened to withdraw the USA from the defense alliance. The Republican wants to be re-elected president this November and is fighting for his candidacy in his party’s primaries. Among other things, he advertises that he wants to continue a fundamental reassessment of NATO.

At the campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump also announced again that he would deport people on a large scale. Irregular immigration is one of the dominant issues in the US election campaign. A frequently used argument on the Republican side is that taxpayers’ money should not be spent on protecting other countries – such as Ukraine – but on protecting their own borders.